Yesterday I posed the question "How good is Tiger Woods?". Today, we got the answer - he is very good!
The 18 hole play-off for the US Open, the toughest test in golf, was compelling viewing. Woods was ahead by 3 shots after 10 holes, and poised for a comfortable win. Suddenly though, a couple of Woods bogeys and a run of three straight birdies by Rocco Mediate changed the game, as Mediate led by one shot playing the 18th. Here's the full story from PGATour.com.
This was the greatest major I have ever watched, and I've been watching golf on the TV since the 1960's when we had the black and white coverage of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player. This Championship (as I said earlier, always the toughest test in golf) had everything - a magnificent course in superb condition, a great field, and any amount of high drama. The play-off today was a proper David vs Goliath battle, and just when it looked like the little guy would win, the giant dug deep.
Tiger Woods is a superb golfer. It's hard to make comparisons between the ages, but he is arguably the best to have ever played the game. But this week, he has revealed something else - he has an incredible spirit. The legends tell of the tactics his father used to make Tiger mentally tough - and they worked. In the last few days, he has overcome the physical vulnerability of his damaged knee, and toughed it out, to emerge triumphant. He ranks today's victory as his greatest achievement in golf, and who would argue? It may even become THE greatest achievement in golf.
Postscript: Don't underestimate the contribution that Steve Williams makes to Tiger Woods's success - this article from the ESPN website gives a great insight into the big guy alongside Tiger!